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Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Spotlight: Wendi Zwaduk

Spare Time

Okay, so being a writer, mom and wife doesn’t always lend itself to having spare time. At the EDJ I’m apt to say I have no spare time. It takes up a lot of time to have a job during the day, to write at night and to have a family. Sometimes it doesn’t balance out. Most of the time I manage to juggle everything.

So what do I do when I have this elusive spare time? I went to school to be an art teacher. I did. I like to draw and ever since I was a kid, I’ve been good at it. I used to amuse friends with drawings and sculptures. When I got older, I really worked at my craft to be the best artist I can be. Am I a great artist? I’m not sure. Those who have seen it think it’s pretty good, but hey, I know I’ve got wiggle room.

So what do I like to work on? I love to work in pastels, aka oil crayons. I love the feel of blending the colors together to add dimension and excitement. Plus, it’s fun to see how the colors will come together and make new colors.

I’m fond of painting as well. I love the focus it takes to translate a model or a photograph into a memory other’s can treasure. I love the challenge of getting the right color combination before the paint dries. You’d be shocked at how fast a dollop of acrylic paint can dry when you’re in the middle of painting a pug dog. It’s fast.

My favorite subject? Animals and people. People because you’re capturing someone’s essence. It’s fun to try to show the personality of the individual. And then there are animals. I usually work on those from pictures. I don’t know any animals who will sit still, not the ones I have anyway. Creating art based on them sleeping is kind of fun, but then they don’t always sleep still either. Animals have the best personality to convey in a work. The tongue hanging from the side of the mouth, the particular way they lay, the way they cock their head, it all makes them unique. That’s fun, putting all that into a painting.

My favorite? I’m biased, but it’s one I did for my Dh. Way back when we were in college, he got me a cat. By the time I created the drawing for our anniversary a few years later, the cat had passed—he had bad kidneys—so I made a drawing of the animals we had, including our totlet, who is quite a bit older now. It was a labor of love and I will always cherish it.

That’s my other passion, my free time taker-upper. I hope you enjoy this little glimpse into my passion.


Gabby said...

Wow your good! I wish I could draw/paint like that unfortunately I'm not that gifted, the best thing I know how to draw are cat eyes and anime human eyes. Especially if I have a model to work from.

I was just wondering, when you draw/paint does it ever help/inspire your writing work?

I mean have you ever found your self painting/drawing and have been inspire to write about something you've painted?

By the way I really like the picture of the rose that you have posted on the Whipped Cream archives, it's really neat!


Cathy M said...

I've never had the knack for painting or drawing, but what a wonderful gift idea for your hubby. Even better than a photograph, because it is a personal creation made with love.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Wendi Zwaduk said...

Gabby - Thanks for stopping by. Yes, my art has inspired my writing. I was sitting in a life drawing class and thought, hey... what if... and it went from there.

The rose is based on a Georgia O'Keefe theme. I can draw the cats and dogs, but I didn't add that picture to the post. :-)

Wendi Zwaduk said...

Cathy - That's almost verbatim what he said. :-) But it was fun to draw the cat we didn't have any longer cuz I miss him. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoy the book.

Terra said...

Hi Ms. Zwaduk,

I love paint as well. I am more of a craft person than a artists as I paint 3D resin horses. I love seeing your art work and reading your interview. I also have enjoyed reading the books of yours in my library.


Wendi Zwaduk said...

Thanks for stopping by, Terra. Glad you could make it. I"d love to see your horses sometime. :-)

Karen C said...

Hi Wendi!

Great artwork! Looks like you got more than your share of the artistic/creative genes!!

I used to do quilling, which is where you take strips of paper, curl and form into shapes and then make pictures, etc. I don't have a workroom/area where I can leave things out and we have cats, so I haven't worked on it in years.

Do you have other hobbies?


Wendi Zwaduk said...

I'd love to learn to quill like you mentioned, but never had the chance. I love pottery but the concept of using a wheel was above my head. I love to do sculpture, too...clay and foam.

Thanks for stopping by Karen!

Gabby said...

Ms. Zwaduk, if you ever get a chance to do pottery or to take a pottery/creative art class do because it's really neat.

Pottery's fun but using the old fashion wheel can be a little tiring if you're not used to it, when I had to do it in High School the first few times it made my leg really sore.


Wendi Zwaduk said...


I have a BA in arts education (and yes, I can both do and teach the media I learned *g*), but I found I wasn't cut out to teach high school kids. I guess I was still too much of a kid. No matter. Part of my bucket list is to do all those art classes I wanted to do then, like glass blowing, but never got the chance (or had the cash in college) to try.

Thanks! I'm totally onto your suggestion--adding it to my list.